Record Ritchie Bros: ins and outs who bought what

Breaking down the facts and figures of September’s equipment auction and its record attendance

September’s losts included more than 100 excavators, 85 compactors, 85 telescopic forklifts, 80 wheel loaders, 65 cranes, 40 loader backhoes, 85 dump trucks, and 55 truck tractors.
September’s losts included more than 100 excavators, 85 compactors, 85 telescopic forklifts, 80 wheel loaders, 65 cranes, 40 loader backhoes, 85 dump trucks, and 55 truck tractors.

Ritchie Bros set a new record in terms of bidder turnout at its most recent unreserved public auction from 8-9 September, 2015, witnessing the sale of $42m worth of equipment and trucks.

More than 900 on-site and online bidders registered for Ritchie Bros’ Dubai auction, where approximately 2,600 items were sold.

In all, more than 100 excavators, 85 compactors, 85 telescopic forklifts, 80 wheel loaders, 65 cranes, 40 loader backhoes, 85 dump trucks, and 55 truck tractors went under the hammer.

“We sold items for more than 200 equipment owners from the Middle East and beyond. Particularly strong performers in the auction were cranes, telescopic forklifts, and backhoes,” comments Eduard Faig, regional sales manager at Ritchie Bros Auctioneers.

“Every year we hold four big auctions in Dubai, but this most recent auction was one of the largest auctions we held here. It broke records of total number of bidder registrations and number of online bidders — though over the years there have been a few auctions that were even larger in number of equipment items sold and the total auction proceeds.”

Buyers from outside Dubai (from as far afield as Australia, Mexico and the UK) purchased approximately 45% of the lots, spending $19m, while online bidders purchased more than $5m, or 12%, of the sale items.

Ritchie’s average auctions has a range of used and unused equipment items and trucks, varying by brands, types and ages — but September’s offering was also very varied. Faig notes: “It really depends on what comes available in the market. At this particular auction, bidders had access to a variety of quality items, coming from all sorts of businesses, in various sectors.

“In total, more than 200 owners consigned items for the auction, which gives you an idea of the diversity. Looking at specific sectors, light and heavy construction equipment is always dominant in the auction, but we’re also seeing an increase in mining equipment availability.”

Facts & Figures

  • September auction facts & figures
  • Total Gross Auction Proceeds: $42m
  • Amount sold to online bidders: $5m
  • Total registered bidders (on-site and online): 920
  • Unique registered online bidders: 400
  • Number of lots sold: 2,600
  • Number of sellers: 200

Equipment outflow

The large number of purchases from outside of Dubai is particularly interesting in terms of the broader trends it could reflect in the market.

Faig comments: “Looking specifically at the UAE, several contractors are closing projects and releasing equipment they no longer need.”

The auctioneer’s setup is also inclined, if not actively encouraging of global, rather than regional sales, as Faig notes, “Ritchie Bros’ global network of buyers and efficient unreserved auction method enables them to sell items to all corners of the world, wherever the highest bidders are from” — though this does not detract from the observation that the auction witnessed a substantial outflow of equipment.

Faig continues: “At an average Ritchie Bros auction in Dubai we register on-site and online bidders from 60 countries. It isn’t uncommon that half of the joining bidders are from abroad, and around 35% of the auction lots end up being purchased by buyers from outside the country.”

Precisely what September’s overseas buyer spike (45% vs. 35%) could mean for the market remains unclear, but it will be telling to see where the results from December’s auction sit.

Faid adds: “Local demand for equipment has softened somewhat, but international bidders are still hungry for good equipment they can put to work in their respective regions.

“But most importantly, if you have a great line up of equipment in the auction inventory, it will attract a good crowd of bidders, and interested buyers keep track of the growing equipment inventory on our website and join the auction in person or live online.”

The power of the auction platform is to reduce the cost, not just the cost of purchase for the buyer, but the otherwise “costly and time consuming activity” act of sale for the seller.

Faig adds: “We focus on making it easy for these businesses to turn iron into cash within a short time frame, and at global market value.”

As for the next Dubai auction in December, PMV will be following the event and any accompanying trends with interest — particularly in the wake of The Big 5 and PMV Live exhibitions.

As for Ritchie Bros, Faig says: “We already have a huge selection of construction equipment and trucks consigned for the next auction.”

• A 2009 Tadano 70t GR-700EX rough terrain crane sold for $325,000
• Two 2011 JCB 550-170 telescopic forklifts sold for a combined $170,000
• A 2011 Euro Tech 5MZ3000T concrete batch plant sold for $110,000

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